Artificial intelligence (AI) offers significant opportunities to protect the environment, mitigate climate change, conserve resources and reverse the loss of biodiversity. Innovations based on AI can promote sustainable consumption, accelerate the expansion of renewable energies, reduce marine litter and facilitate a switch to sustainable transport.
To this end, the Federal Environment Ministry has set up an initiative for AI lighthouse projects for the environment, climate, nature and resources. This initiative promotes projects that use AI to tackle ecological challenges and serve as models for an environmentally sound and climate-friendly digitalisation.
By supporting these projects, the Federal Environment Ministry creates a positive climate for innovations for a key technology in Germany. The projects demonstrate that digital innovations like AI help stabilise the climate and protect the environment while also limiting the risks of digitalisation. The initiative is geared towards industry, science and civil society and comprises two lines of funding to address projects at different stages of development.
Applications are invited for creative and innovative ideas to address ecological challenges. The process enables applicants with or without funding experience to present their skills and ideas. They will receive funding over five months to develop a detailed concept for continued funding.
This line of funding is aimed at projects that are more mature. It will support the development, application and dissemination of AI applications for ecological challenges.
The executing agency is Zukunft - Umwelt - Gesellschaft (ZUG), a federally-owned service provider for the promotion of environmental protection, nature conservation and climate action.
All information on the application procedure and on how to apply is available on the ZUG website.
The support programme contributes to implementing the German government’s AI strategy. The main objective of the strategy is for Germany and Europe to become leading ina hub for AI technologies while promoting the responsible development and use of AI for the common good.